Softball was invented by the American George Hancock in 1887 as an indoor game.
Factbox on softball
Softball was invented by the American George Hancock in 1887 as an indoor game. In 1895, the first women's team was formed in Chicago. At the same time the sport was taken outdoors and called "kitten ball". The rules were standardised in 1926 and the name changed to softball. The first world championship was held in 1965 and the game is now played by more than 20 million people around the world. Softball was first included in the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and is a women-only sport at the Games. It has been dropped from the programme for the 2012 London Olympics.
China, United States, Japan, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Netherlands, Venezuela
Fengtai softball field. *Reuters